The Clone Chronicles
Copyright 2003-2016 Steve Williams
All rights Reserved
All rights Reserved
I wake to much the same situation as yesterday. The good thing is that the bed-wetter pants make it easier to clean Ian up. While I do this, Jarod fixes breakfast. Today we introduce Ian to oatmeal and toast. Seeing Ian's face as he bites into the toast with Strawberry Jam almost brings a new perspective to my own breakfast. I still need to help Ian, but he seems to be getting the idea. The milk is also handled fairly easily.
Again as I watch Ian, and teach him these new skills, he seems to grasp new motor skills much more quickly than I would have thought. As we finish, Bill comes in and says we will be leaving in about an hour.
"By the way, Steve," Jarod calls, "I put a small dose of motion sickness medication in Ian's food. I don't know if he will have any trouble, but just to be safe."
"Thanks, I hadn't thought of that."
"I'll add it to the bill," he jibes.
Jarod helps as we again clean up the cabin and we quietly enjoy our remaining minutes together. I take a few minutes and get Ian into another pair of the nighttime bed-wetter pants. Finally, it is time to depart. Bill comes in to walk us to the truck.
"We are going for a ride pal," I explain, to Ian. I grab a small backpack, courtesy of Bill and Jeffrey for Ian, followed by one for me.
"Talk to you whenever I can," I tell Jarod, shaking hands.
"I'll be in touch, maybe sooner than you think."
As we leave, I don't know who is more nervous, Ian or I. I look down at this boy, who has turned my life upside down. I see his fear in the tense way he walks and feel it in the slight tremble coming through his hand. I give his small hand a gentle squeeze.
"It's okay, Ian. We're just going for a ride. This should be fun."
As we leave, I am surprised by the number of tents now up around the cabin. There are about twenty kids running around. I look at Bill who just shrugs, putting off any questions. Looking around, my mind registers what my eyes failed to notice. Many of the men who arrived with Bill are now surrounding the party in the center.
We climb into the truck and strap in. Bill starts the engine and we're off. Ian watches out the window. His eyes show mixture of awe and fear.
"For security reasons, I won't know where the two of you are going until sometime later. I'm going back to the cabin after passing you on. I picked the next agent in the link and he will pick the one after that."
"Your next man is Sam, but he doesn't know I'm the one bringing you, so don't say my name. He does know that you are Steve and son. That's all he needs."
Bill hands me a pocket computer.
"This is a secure wireless unit. Jarod and I both have the address, so we can keep in touch. The safe house will be set up for it, so keep it with you at all times. The house will also be equipped with clothing and needs for you and the boy. I've sent word on about the doctor and possibly another boy for yours to play with."
"Bill," I cut him off. "How did you get all this up and just what are you? I thought you were a retired state cop."
"All you need to know is that I am a retired state cop, with friends who owe me and I am collecting, while picking up more tabs."
"Including a big one from me, I suppose."
"No, if this is what I suspect, many people will owe you."
"Did anyone call the local cops? Isn't this their jurisdiction?" I ask although already suspecting the answer.
"When Jarod called me, I called 'friends'. They want to keep the locals in the dark, until we know they're not involved. We don't even know how big this might be."
"How..." I pause as the realization hits me that I perhaps don't want to know this information.
I lapse into silence, as we roll on. I haven't even paid attention to the roads. Soon however, I feel a change as we pull into a small airport and up to a small Cessna.
I grab Ian and our bags, then head to the Cessna. We stow our gear in the luggage bay, then climb in the back. The truck is already gone. As soon as we're strapped in, the pilot feeds power and we're off. Ian can't quite see out the windows of this plane and he looks tired. I pull him over against me, brushing his face. He snuggles against me and quickly goes to sleep. I soon follow.
I am nudged awake by Sam and put on a set of headphones.
"We'll be landing in about 10 minutes," he informs me. "Transportation is waiting."
I look below us. There is lots of forest land and several lakes. It looks somehow familiar, but I say nothing. I wake Ian, as we start our approach. When we land, there is a Chevy Suburban waiting for us.
We climb into the truck, as the plane takes off. No wasted time with these boys. The new agent introduces himself as Corey. As the truck begins to roll, my computer beeps. Opening it, I read the message displayed.
"IF YOU RECEIVE THIS, YOU HAVE MET THE CORRECT CONTACT. PLEASE TAP 'REPLY', TYPE 'CONFIRM' AND THEN TAP 'SEND'."
I follow the instructions and receive a 'thanks' back.
"Corey," I begin." Before we go too far, we better stop and get Ian a bathroom break. He has problems and hasn't been in," I look at my watch, "almost four hours."
Corey nods and we soon pull into a small service station. I ask Corey to get us a couple of hot dogs, while I take Ian to the bathroom. His pants are dry so at least this part of his development is progressing well. I hope other parts move as quickly.
Back in the truck, we travel quietly for about 45 minutes, then pull up to a small cabin on a large lake, with a boat at a dock. Leaving the truck, we move with Corey to the boat and take off across the lake. In about 20 minutes, we come to an island. As we approach, we move around some vines leading into a 'sheltered cove'.
We pull into a boathouse and disembark the small craft. Corey leads us up to the main house. I also see several small cabins nearby. Although we have a pretty good view of the lake the sky is mostly obscured by the trees that surround the place. Corey starts the tour.
"There are 4 bedrooms. Two connecting for you and the boy."
"Ian", I interrupt. At Corey's raised eyebrows, I explain that as a therapist, it has always been my practice to use everyone's names. Ian is learning, but being called "the Boy" can be demeaning."
With a nod he continues, "Two connecting for you and Ian. One for the doctor and one for the other boy. They will be arriving soon. There is also an educational area for both boys and an exam/treatment room for the Doctor. He will take care of us all, while we're here. There is even an intercom that lets you monitor every room. We are also bringing in a developmental teacher and a cook."
"Is all this really necessary?"
"The teacher is for our benefit. As we study the b—Ian, we hope to learn something about how he learns." He looks slightly sheepish at the slip.
"How will that help you?"
"Ever since reports of cloning began, we have worried about this type of development. One of the fears is that an adult clone might be grown and used to replace a prominent businessman or even a scientist. If the clone is loyal only to its growers..." he lets the sentence hang.
Before I have time to ponder this position, we enter the cabin. It is much larger on the inside than I thought. The rooms for Ian and me are large and airy. The connecting bathroom is huge, with separate shower and sunken tub. The promised clothes are laid out on the beds of the two rooms. In accordance with my tastes, 'Thank you, Jarod', there are several sweat suits for each of us. I'm only partially surprised to see the diaper type underpants for Ian. Only one package though, so it appears Jarod also thinks his training will be quick.
Downstairs are the educational and medical areas, as well as an exercise room. To my surprise Corey tells me there is even a small pool down here. Corey explains that the basement extends beyond the house and has a solid concrete and steel room below the dirt.
"This place actually belonged to a corporate exec and was seized when he went to prison for fraud. It's one of the best safe houses we have because of its isolation. It is impossible to approach without being seen"
As if to emphasize his point, Corey's radio squawks and announces the approach of a boat. It seems the others have arrived. We all go back upstairs to wait in the living room. While we wait, I get Ian's ball and we roll it back and forth.
Finally the door opens and three people enter and Corey makes the introductions. Marty is a Senior Pediatrician at a superior children's hospital. Gordon is the superintendent of developmental education for a large urban school district. Alex is his son. I am told that all three have been briefed on the situation.
As I shake their hands, I am overwhelmed by the sacrifice these men are making.
"I don't know how to thank you all." Emotion makes it hard to talk.
"My name is Steve and for lack of anything else, I have named this youngster Ian." Ian is again hiding behind me, but not so far as before.
As if on cue, Alex moves forward, holding out his hand to Ian. When I give Alex the ball, Ian finally quits hiding and moves away. I must look concerned, because Gordon takes my elbow.
"I've spent 20 years teaching the developmentally challenged. Alex has been around them all since his infancy. I can't think of a better playmate and training partner for Ian. I can guarantee that no harm will be done and Alex will check with one of us before doing anything".
"Is it true that he is only two days old?" asks Marty.
He came out of an apparent cloning tank two days ago". I explain. "As to his age, that's what we need to figure out".
As we talked, Corey disappeared. I take the men on a tour of the house. Surprisingly, Ian stays with Alex in the living room. Alex is starting softly to toss the ball to Ian, who startles me with a giggle, when he catches it. Another motor skill developing as well as hand-eye coordination.
I show them the two other bedrooms. One has a queen bed, the other a double. I explain that I don't know who will sleep where, when Marty interrupts.
"I have chosen to sleep in one of the bungalows, away from the cabin. I don't want to get too familiar with Ian. It might cloud my perceptions and my judgements. The cook is also in a bungalow as is the security team. Rich will be doing his cooking there. By the way, I'm told that dinner should be in about 45 minutes."
Marty excuses himself and goes to clean up, stating that he won't be joining us for dinner.
"What about you and Alex? Will you be staying or also going to a bungalow?"
"If you don't mind, I'd like to stay. I'll use the queen room. I would also like to suggest that the boys sleep together, if you and Ian don't object. They seem to be getting along and I hope that Alex can help Ian with some of the more personal tasks."
I look at Gordon quizzically.
"Look at the facts. He's not your son. He's ten-years old and not toilet trained. I'm sure you are uncomfortable with these tasks. I know I am, even with some of the students I've dealt with.
"We had a young autistic boy come in a couple of years ago, who like Ian, did not know how to use a toilet. Alex helped clean him up a couple of times then took the boy and showed him what a toilet was for. After three days, the boy could go by himself and he moved to a regular class.
"Since before Alex was born, I've worked with challenged kids, abused and neglected kids. Alex has seen them all. If I didn't know he could help, I wouldn't have brought him. Ian is a new challenge and I really believe Alex will be a benefit."
As we talk, we walk back to the living room. The boys are still playing. Alex stops and waves to Gordon. Ian turns and waves toward me. Any doubts I had are banished.
"Why don't we show the boys around?" I suggest. "Then they can clean up for dinner."
We signal to Alex, who takes Ian by the hand, as we walk through the house. I take the toys and games down to the playroom. We don't show the boys the pool, only because I want to help introduce Ian to swimming. I'm also unsure of how he will react.
"Come on, Ian," exclaims Alex when the tour is done. "Let's go wash up."
For a moment, as they rush off, they look like two normal young boys. That moment fills me with hope.
Gordon and I get washed up and go to the dining room, where the two boys join us after a few minutes. The main difference is that Ian seems to have more water on him.
On an impulse, I call and beckon him over. When he doesn't move, Alex gives him a nudge and he comes to me. I put my arms around him and pull him into a hug. I even give him a kiss on the forehead. I see Gordon doing the same with Alex.
"You're doing very well:" I tell Ian. "And you," looking to Alex "are a very big help. Thank you for coming".
The door opens and a slender man enters, pushing a cart with several covered dishes. Corey follows with a second cart, with all the tableware and pitchers.
"Gentlemen," Corey says, taking us all in, "this is your cook, Rich. Don't let his size fool you. He really is a good cook. I've eaten his food many times."
This tells me that Rich has obviously done this before. He quickly passes out dishes. The boys get milk with macaroni and cheese. Gordon and I get small salads with choice of dressing, pork chops, mashed potatoes, broccoli, applesauce and apple cider. I also ask for a glass of milk.
While we eat, I am again amazed at the perceptiveness and gentleness Alex shows. He works to help Ian handle both fork and spoon. He even hurries to clean up, when Ian drops a spoonful of macaroni.
Dinner is followed by simple dishes of ice cream, quickly eaten. We all stack our dishes on the carts and wipe off the table. Gordon calls his son. "Alex, why don't you and Ian hit the bathtub. We'll look in on you shortly."
As the boys rush down the hall, I voice my concern. "I don't know how Ian will respond to a tub. He woke up in the tank and was choking on the fluid."
Moving down the hall, we stop the boys going into the bedroom. Gordon speaks quietly with Alex, then takes me back to the living room.
"I told Alex to try the tub. If Ian doesn't want to follow him in, he will get out and use the shower. I know you are worried about swimming and this might help alleviate any fear of water. Cards?"
I nod and we play a few hands of rummy. Not hearing any screaming, we wait about 20 minutes, then go to look in on the boys. I am surprised and grateful that Ian has gotten in the tub with Alex. After reminding the boys to get clean and not just play, we return to our card game.
After about 20 minutes more, both boys come out to the living room. Both are in sweats, robes and slippers.
"Alex, did Ian put on the overnight underwear?" I question.
"Yeah, he did, but he wouldn't put em on until I did, is that okay?"
"That is very OK. Would you please go get one of the books out of the room and bring it here?"
I catch Ian as Alex runs off. Moving over to the couch, by the fire, I sit and pull Ian up next to me. Gordon moves to a big chair and flops down. Alex brings me a book, then joins his dad in the chair. Being a small book, it only takes about ten minutes to read. Both boys are drowsy, so Gordon and I each pick one up and carry them to their room. Slippers and robes come off and in moments they're tucked in. I reach out and sweep a little hair off his forehead. He has only been in my life two days, but I already shudder at the thought he might be taken away. With that, I realize I am already thinking of Ian as my son.
What quirks of fate had to apply for all this to happen? My friends had to talk me into a vacation. I had to arrange for the cabin. Once I got there, I had to explore, pull off the sheet and touch Ian's foot. All the other steps flash through my head.
I bend down, planting a kiss on his brow. Gordon and I move back to the living room, leaving our boys to their slumbers.
Suddenly realizing how tired I am, I say a quick goodnight to Gordon and go to my room. As I prepare for bed, my mind floods me with the memories of the last 2 days. I leave both doors open and crawl into bed. I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow.
Authors Note: This is my first story, ever. If you are enjoying my story, I would like to hear your feedback on it: firstname.lastname@example.org